They Say Surfing Is a lot like Life

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Surfing wins! “Wins what?,” you might ask. I dunno, but this is the first week I’ve really tried to relax. Although I am still writing a research paper, I got to do the things that I haven’t had time for. Friday, I got vaccinations for Africa and then went rock climbing, Saturday, I helped my housemate move out and went to see 2 movies with friends. Sunday, I went to see a jazz show. Monday, I participated in my FIRST real jazz jam session. Tuesday, I went surfing (for the first time), met with a media gal about Africa, had dinner with the grad Christians, and had a beach bonfire with another group of friends (while watching some people set off fireworks and others burning American flags). Wednesday was the July 4 BBQ. Thursday, today, I went surfing again. I think the surfing score is currently: Pacific Ocean: 20, Sherol: 12.

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Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert?

On 10/30/10, two opposing rallies with gather at our nation’s capitol. These banners speak for themselves as these two public figures parody the divide in our nation.

My question is this: Stewart or Colbert?

In my humble opinion (haha), if I were to find myself in DC that day, I’d be supporting Stephen Colbert. Stewart may be a better activist, but Colbert is the better comedian. Stewart takes himself too seriously, while Colbert has no discernible agenda. I mean, I just like Colbert, b/c he doesn’t try to seem this or that. Other that what I’ve said, I don’t really know why I like Colbert more. Maybe b/c I want to believe that he is parodying the parodying of what his show is about.

So, which rally would you attend? I’d be at the “March to Keep Fear Alive.”

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Children, Suicide Bombers, and That Place Between Privilege and Despair

Many people have heard of the invisible children in Africa, but there’s a recent TED talk about schools for children suicide bombers in the Taliban. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy worked with children under training and with Taliban recruiters for a year to document their efforts. Recruiters target poor families and promise free food, care, and compensation. 5 step process: (1) separate parents from children from poor regions, (2) teach the Koran heavily distorted with no access to any media, (3) make the children hate the world with beatings and harsh living circumstances, (4)  talk about the glories of martyrdom, (5) effective propaganda. First, the brain-washing and training … Continue reading Children, Suicide Bombers, and That Place Between Privilege and Despair

Hope for Haiti Happy Birthday

“Sherol,” he says.  (I don’t like it when someone inserts my name into the middle of a conversation like that.)

“Hey…i just wanted ur input on something.”

Oh gosh, did something happen?

“So im trying to help out this org at my school to help raise money for haiti. im not affiliated with them. just wanna help out.”

Whoa, that sounds awesome… keep going.

“Im thinkin of sending out a facebook event thing to everyone on my list.”

How are u going to raise the money?

“And my idea is to have people contribute… and sign a t shirt… a hope for haiti t shirt.”

What happens with the shirt?

“The purpose of the shirt is to show all those who showed support as well as be an example for others to possibly emulate.”

Nice, well, it sounds like you have it figured out.

“Well… im having my doubts.”

Really? why?

“I feel like people wont be responsive …especially to a facebook event thing like that… and im worried that i wont be able to collect anything significant”

To which I respond: “If you are worried about being discouraged, don’t worry.  ‘Cause you will be discouraged.  Thats the cost of doing stuff that matters.

What stops us from trying?  In that conversation, I completely understood the feelings which ran through his mind.  It’s a moment where you know you need to do something, and yet, you feel like you won’t be able to do anything, especially if it involves convincing other people that it’s worth their trouble too.  I know that feeling, because, again and again, I put myself out there, and, again and again, I feel my powerlessness inching me towards indifference.

Nevertheless, I go for the things regardless of whether others are on board, because I’d rather look like a fool than fool myself into believing that nothing can be done.  Now, ReClaiM is about “inspiring a spiritual awakening,” so appropriately, I will write about what inspires me.

My friend’s desire to do something that matters, not because everyone else is doing it, and especially if no one is doing it, inspires me to no end.

So, I told him: “if u do it… i’ll contribute…$100, but only if u do it, and u have to make the facebook event tonight… otherwise.. no deal…”

“Wow… thats a lot of money.. are you serious?,” he asks.  Of course, I’m serious, and, no, it’s really not a lot of money.  I respond, ”  its nothing… i just like seeing people do crazy stuff like that…its worth the money…”

It’s worth it… worth it because if I wanted to give that $100 to Haiti, I could have regardless of how my friend decided to spend his birthday.  However, what makes it invaluable is, here, we have someone with a genuine desire to do something, and he just isn’t sure whether he can.  Well, he doesn’t need to be sure, I’m sure he can, because the truth is, we’re never sure we can do anything, we never know what difference it makes, and whether people will care.  If we fear the failure that results in nothing happening, then how is it any better to do nothing instead?

The “win,” as we call it in academia, is that we do something, and that something is worth well more than $100.   So, after the jump, you will find the link to the facebook event for Pio’s “birthday party,” and if you are even a little bit inspired, join the party.  If you don’t have the time or money to give, that’s fine, even clicking on the link is something— worth more than you realize.

“=) thanks sherol! u just gave me a whole lot of confidence in this.  i hope ppl will follow ur actions”

me: it doesnt matter if they do or not, but i have a good feeling about it

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Benefit Concert to Help Bring Underwear Relief to the Homeless

Last night, I was at a benefit concert that was thrown by my dear friend and co-blogger, Chris Zwakenberg. He brought in a number of bands from the local community to perform and celebrate the cause. To get into the show, you must bring a pack of briefs or $5. This is the 6th year for “Brief Relief” and the turnout was really encouraging on two points: (1) that young people care enough to donate their time and money to fulfill a need and (2) this live-music event helps to makes local creativity more communicable and accessible. Here’s Zwak, Ike, … Continue reading Benefit Concert to Help Bring Underwear Relief to the Homeless